tv [untitled] March 22, 2012 4:30am-5:00am PDT
i think that san francisco -- anybody who has been here in san francisco for the past six months or year, we have seen a huge battle to really defend what we have won in the past 20 years around sanctuary city. i was glad to hear testimonies from were tonight, and i think that this commission has played a very important role in passing the change around the indictlement. this commission held a hearing with hundreds of people who came to give testimony. nothing that happens in the city, nothing that happens in the country happens because somebody wakes up one day and makes it happen. it happens because every day people organize and push for it to happen. this commission exists because of organizing of people.
and like they have said, it is important for us as commissions, and i myself commit to going out in the community and really talking about it. a symposium doesn't happen in a room like this. real change happens when we go out and talk to people. a lot of people can speak with their own voice around their own issue. i am committed to them, and as a commission i hope we can work to make that happen. this is a beginning, and i have gotten a lot of good information. to have representatives from congressional offices here is important. i want to say thank you to every one of you, and i want to recognize the san francisco immigrant rights movement for their work. thank you very much. >> thank you, commissioners. i want to rhyme my commissioners -- want to remind my commissioners that we are
restricted on time. >> my comments are usually short. i have a question for bill, who has scared me to death. after we hear all this, and he sounds like the problems are worse in washington. but are there any things positive you found in washington that have happened? >> there's a new president. [laughter] >> there are -- the enforcement priorities have changed somewhat. there are the voices of progressive immigrant rights folks are being heard. what you heard me articulate earlier is my best judgment of who is getting the better of that arm wrestling, unfortunately. but yeah, i mean there are good proposals floating out there in terms of backlog production, in terms of restraining ice, in
terms of potentially different types of visas that are more fluid. i wish i could say i was confident in that. i fear the worst because of what we are witnessing on health care reform. >> thank you. >> welcome to the commission. thank you for joining us this evening. this is his first commission hearing. >> i actually also had a question. we have heard a lot about sort of economics and family reunification. but i think there is the long-standing tra transition of framing immigration law. i think that has been absent from this conversation, and i
was wondering if there is anything you can offer about current political ideologies affecting immigration reform. >> you can go first. >> all right. i think that 9/11 was a watershed in immigration generallyly because we were at a moment where it seemed like there was some real consensus in moving forward on immigration reform. after that congress really went in the opposite direction, focusing on really keeping people out of the country. dan said this at the beginning of the evening that we have seen in the last eight years a mindset that is -- somehow or other that immigration is a negative and that our country is better off when we are tightly restricting who comes in. i think that there is movement
away from that. i think there has been a lot more work in energy, and a growing group of new citizens, naturalized and voting, who are changing that dynamic. but we're fighting the remnants of that every day. and i think the fact that. gration has been used as sort of a substitute for a -- immigration has been used as a sort of substitute for things that people are upset about, and it becomes easier to kick the immigrant. we see that with the restrictionists and the hate movement. those are the kind of things we are fighting against. some of that sells politically. the challenge is, as cindy was saying, in other parts of the
country, really getting people to see that being against immigration is being against america, and that we have to reframe the analysis that way so that people can't hide behind it and use that as their basis for bad votes and sort of running away from the issue. >> thank you. once department, thank you, panelists. >> i will make my comments. when i heard bat, for me it was good because it was like a recharging of the batteries. i needed that because i had been drinking the kool aid of the bad stuff out there and believing maybe there was no hope. but like most of you, i do believe there will be. i remember bart's story, that
when we did go back to washington, the irish group. and we walked right back out. it told me that democracy is alive and well. after the kennedy-mccain bill failed, it disappointed me because i thought we were really close. we didn't just have an immigration problem, but we also had a public relations problem, and he talked about that this evening. you have touched on it so many times. that is our strongest ammunition here in our arsenal. we have to get our own lou dobbs on the air, and we have to get him educating the people on the pluses and how immigrants are the backbone of this country. i am going to close out the hearing. this concludes tonight's
symposium. on behalf of my fellow commissioners, we thank you for coming here. i would like to thank our assemblyman, the staff, the san francisco board of supervisors, david chew, our speaker and our panelists, our partners and collaborators, and most of all to the members of the audience and immigrant communities who are represented for which we exist, thank you for coming here this evening. we have learned a lot and are well educated for going forward. please look for a written report on these proceedings by the end of the meeting. also we look forward to a report on april 13, 2009 of the joint hearing with the human rights commission by the end of the year. thank you all for coming here this evening.